I suppose it is time that I make a start on this journal, to document all of what is to come. In the dead hours of noon, I had taken a journey south of Dolanaar, towards the very rim of Teldrassil. 913 More Words
I suppose it is time that I make a start on this journal, to document all of what is to come.
In the dead hours of noon, I had taken a journey south of Dolanaar, towards the very rim of Teldrassil. The sun irritated my skin; regardless, I bore it. There grew a great branch, stretching out towards the Veiled Sea. I stepped out along its body, feeling the fury of the wind upon this world’s precipice. As it whipped around me, I placed myself at the very edge of this outreached, oaken hand, and took in the horizon.
The sea’s mists wrapped around the coast of Teldrassil, grasping towards the peaks of Hyjal. Nordrassil’s boughs yet towered above it, and nonetheless the fog climbed. My vision may no longer be clear, but the horizon yet maintains, thankfully. I sat down, and let my legs dangle out towards the open sky.
A compulsory resolve took hold. Breathing out, I fell back on the branch and closed my eyes. Let the dreams seep over my mind. It was a selfless thrill: Durahni always said I should seek such things. Perhaps not as he willed, alas.
A return to that same lake, though that fog of sense was gone. I raised myself from the stump, and walked along its banks. It was all silent. My footsteps did not rustle the grass, disturb the sheen of the water. My ears could not find even the slightest anomaly to twist into a half-sense.
From the waters arose the three bodies of the children, grown now. They were ghastly faeries, corpses bound with a defiled magic. With nothing to cloud me, I could finally recognize them. Velinde’s face and body was still a plain, unfeatured aggregation of pinkish flesh. Vilvera bore all the trappings of a drowned sailor, complete with their drunken smile and hazy eyes. Asu’zee was burned and shredded, maintaining that stiff, heroic temerity as she bled and blistered. I suppose I never forgot how she looked in her casket.
Asu’zee held out her bloodied hand. As I grasped it, I felt its intense warmth. Her sisters joined in; Velinde’s nails clawing into the back of my hand.
They spoke all at once through unmoving lips. To write it down would be trivial - their utterings were already too memorized, beaten into iron. There was nothing new to bear.
And all at once, their voices silenced. Asu’zee thrummed, “We’ll be here if you need us.” With that tenor, the water reeled back the three. We all held out our hands as we were pulled away, but knew better than to pull against fate.
I turned around, to notice the Feathered Guide, beckoning me once more. We walked along the cobbled roads for a time, exploring the small wonders along the way. With one artless step, I fell off what felt like the edge of the world, bringing my body with me. The land I once knew faded away into an endless sky, with winds that ripped at every joint that held me together. Below lay a sea, all too familiar in its malaise. Their hands would catch me there. And yet, the Feathered Guide did not move, entirely undisturbed by wind and gravity alike. He simply floated down with me, never taking his eyes off me.
And finally, I let the wind pass through my fingertips. Their flow was not at all mysterious; it was a familiar stranger, an unknown soul bearing the likeness of one that had long passed by. I closed my eyes, and felt myself slowing down to static. The winds no longer howled their rage; their breeze was gentle, as if caressing the strings of the loom. I felt myself adrift along a peculiar kind of stream.
It was not at all flying. Soaring, perhaps. Sailing felt like it fit the moment.
The wind carried me across the sea, towards the destined land. War-torn. Blood-drenched. Ruined and inhospitable. And yet… it held that promise. A promise encapsulated in every fresh growth that dotted the land: every unbroken beast, every laid brick, every blade of grass. The lands persevered.
Durahni smiled, at last.
My eyes fluttered, and I found myself lying across the width of this arm of Teldrassil. I hoisted myself to my feet, and stared back out at that horizon.
Those wars had ended with tenuous pacts of peace. I had never grown. But I had learned to live. Every inch of this body bears the mark of my folly. For awhile, I believed I found my salvation. But this world bears a cycle unending. And after 10,000 years, I could do nothing else but to accept its entropy, do nothing else but to live for myself.
And the wind at my back… It, too, held that promise. A promise to no longer be cut down by the past, by those ancient hands.
I would never leave it. Couldn’t. The teahouses, the arena, the lonely nights of the long vigil. Yet, like Blanche, something new could come into creation. To find something to care for, to no longer fear my own influence. It was…
I closed my eyes, and let the winds wrap around me. Remaining in their presence until their touch ceased. The smell of the sea returned. My old heart longed for it.
Shadowglen would bear the fresh faces of the new era. I would see them all, in this last night in the tired home of my old people. With one last look towards the horizon, I travelled back into the wilds. Perhaps their exiles were for the best, after all this time.
My old heart longed for it all.